November 4, 2003

198 Societies De-Registered/ Minister warns Trade Unions

The registrar of societies has de-registered 198 societies for flouting various provisions of the Societies Act Cap 119 of the laws of Zambia, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Peter Mumba disclosed in a statement in Lusaka. He said that apart from violating the Act, some of the de-registered societies failed to submit necessary prescribed returns and also failed to adhere to their declared objects. Among the de-registered societies were unnamed political parties, religious organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Mumba named foreign NGOs, among them the World Vision, MS-Zambia, Red Cross and the World Food Programme as the only ones that operated for the people and followed up their programmes to help the needy diligently. He declared that Government would in consultation with various stakeholders also embark on an exercise to come up with a separate legislature to deal with NGOs as opposed to a situation where they were under the same register as clubs, churches, mosques and political parties.

In the meantime, labour Minister Patrick Kafumukache has warned trade unions about their engagement. He emphasised that his ministry would not acknowledge trade union leaders with retrogressive tendencies which negated the very ideals of sound trade union leadership on which they were founded. And that he had instructed his labour commissioner to de-register unions when they abandoned their constitutional objectives.

He said his Government wanted to see a mature trade union movement that would operate within the legal framework as enshrined in the Industrial and Labour Relations Act of the laws of Zambia. Kafumukache reminded the three union leaders that they had a big challenge to contribute to the development of Zambia by working in line with Government. In return, representatives of the three unions assured the minister that they would not be swayed by selfish politicians but would work towards addressing the plight of their workers. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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